We spent the whole day at IIT Khargpur, fishing for interns from the batch of final year students of Mechanical Engineering who would like to get engaged in Design Thinking. Though we did not expect this but 40 students applied for the job, which they thought was a new and exciting field. But trying to find out people skilled in Design Thinking was a bit difficult. One can’t possibly find out this skill by interviewing or GD, a format, which the students and the institutes are used to.
Hence we gave them three hours time to work on two projects to display their thinking abilities. One was to redesign the humble bicycle and make riding it for 100 kms a pleasurable experience, without straining your muscles or your back and ride along with the minimum use of energy.
The other was to redesign the hostel beds (remember how horrible these are) in such a manner that it becomes a all weather bed (does not become too warm in summer and too cold in winter), where you can do interesting stuff, remains neat at all times, free of ants and bedbugs and also not hurt oneself even if you are punch drunk and should not smell even if one has not taken a bath for 10 days.
They were allowed to work individually as well as in groups of three. The group came up with their quite interesting thinking processes and we could not resist picking up 7 of these wonderful guys though we actually needed 4. We expect them to solve real life problems in unique ways so as to come up with applications that can be patented.
But guiding such a team is also a challenge!